Swiss Rail Adventure

Blonay-Chamby
Blonay-Chamby
Brienze Rothorn Bahn - © John Robson
Chur - © Stephan Engler
Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva - © Switzerland Tourism
Steam train on the Furka-Bergstrecke
Rhaetian Railway - © Swiss Travel System
Thun castle - © swiss-image.ch
Steam loco on the Wiesen viaduct - © Eric Nicholass
Chateau Chillon near Montreux - © swiss-image.ch
The Furka-Bergstrecke at the Rhone glacier - © swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Holiday Highlights

  • First class Swiss Travel Pass
  • No expensive excursions to pay for
  • Steam excursions on Furka Bergstrecke & Blonay-Chamby
  • Bernina Express & Glacier Express with reserved seats in first class
  • Optional excursions on free days to Arosa, Davos, Zermatt and Montreux (included)
  • Brig, Lausanne and Thun hotels close to station - easy access for free travel
  • 15 days from £2,685pp
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Tour Dates:
Thursday 7 September to Thursday 21 September 2017

This is a tour in which the pleasures of steam are enhanced by their location. Lovers of rail travel, culture and nature will delight in the diversity of the locations and stunning scenery.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Aachen

Depart on Eurostar at lunchtime from London St Pancras to Brussels, then onwards by high speed train to Aachen where we have an overnight stay. Standard class with reserved seats.

Day 2 – Graubünden

Leaving Aachen after breakfast we follow the classic route alongside the river Rhine as it heads south. Reaching Basle we change trains for Chur and from this point on whilst in Switzerland we will be travelling in first class using our unlimited travel pass which is provided as part of the holiday. We stay for 5 nights in this charming historic city and our hotel is in the traffic free area of the old town.

Day 3 – Steam on Rhaetian Railways

Today we have a full day excursion by steam on the Rhaetian Railways network. Travel in vintage carriages through the Rhine Gorge to Disentis and return.

Day 4 – Free Time

Being the home of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railways network, what better way to explore than by taking one of their red trains into the surrounding area. You can visit Arosa, Davos and Klosters, all of which are within easy reach. Our excursion booklet which will be sent to you has lots of suggestions and there will be an escorted optional excursion on offer.

Day 5 – Bernina Express

Today we offer a full day escorted excursion from Chur to Tirano travelling on the Bernina Express route. This route is the only North-South Alpine rail crossing and the summit of the line lies at an altitude of 2253m (7391ft). Travelling in first class the panoramic windows give a wide vista and the many spirals and tunnels all make this a memorable journey.

Day 6 – Further Free Time

A second day at leisure with an optional escorted excursion provided. You can of course be independent if you wish and your tour leader will be more than happy to help plan and offer suggestions.

Day 7 – Glacier Express

One of Switzerland’s most scenic journeys delivers the best views through the panoramic windows so sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery as we travel to Brig, in the Rhone Valley. Reserved seats in first class. We stay in Brig for 3 nights.

Day 8 – At Leisure

Using your travel pass there are several metre gauge branch lines in the vicinity worth a visit or take the scenic Centovalli route into Italy. The optional escorted excursion will be a full day to Zermatt with free time to allow for a journey on the rack railway to the Gornergrat summit for views of the Matterhorn (additional charge on production of your travel pass).

Day 9 – Furka Bergstrecke Steam

Travel by local service from Brig to Oberwald where we have time for lunch (not included) before departing by steam on what was once the original alignment of the Glacier Express route over the Furka Pass. Return late afternoon by local service to Brig.

Day 10 – Lake Geneva

Morning transfer by main line along the Rhone valley to Lausanne. Free afternoon with an optional escorted excursion to Montreux, allowing time to visit Chillon Castle.

Day 11 – Blonay-Chamby

A full day of steam and nostalgia on a visit to the Blonay-Chamby heritage railway. It is home to one of the best continental collections of historic metre gauge railway stock, mainly from former Swiss manufacturers or operating companies. Over 60 vehicles are on show in the two large sheds and around the yard.

Day 12 – Bernese Oberland

Leaving Lausanne we travel via the metre gauge Golden Pass route. We very quickly leave behind the stunning view of Lake Geneva as we climb into the mountains and soon we are surrounded by high peaks. Our final destination is Thun, situated on the lake of the same name and the skyline is dominated by the castle. We are based here for a 2-night stay.

Day 13 – Brienzer Rothorn

The pretty little village of Brienz is only a short journey from Thun. From here the steam driven rack railway travels to the summit of the Rothorn, a journey of around an hour and an altitude of approx 2250 metres. We have time for lunch before the descent. On arrival back at Brienz we travel to Bern where we have a private charter of Bern’s unique steam tram.

Day 14 – To Aachen

Leaving Thun after breakfast we travel to Basle where we connect with the train to Aachen, travelling on the high speed line. Overnight in Aachen.

Day 15 – To London

We take the morning Thalys service to Brussels, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, arriving early afternoon. Standard class with reserved seats.

Please note that the details of the steam excursions may be subject to change.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ibis Hotel am Marschiertor, Aachen

Hotel Freieck, Chur

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

Hotel a la Gare, Lausanne

Hotel Freienhof, Thun

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Standard class travel to and from Switzerland
  • First class Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel on trains, postbuses, lake steamers and many city buses and trams
  • Steam excursions as listed in itinerary
  • Optional escorted excursions
  • Bernina and Glacier Express supplements
  • Accommodation in good, quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,685
Single room supplement: £500
Deposit for this holiday: £100
   
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2016

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